ESM to offer free lunches during summer months

— Starting July 9 and ending Aug. 17, the East Syracuse Minoa Central School District will once again offer free lunches to kids in need.

The service is provided through the United States Department of Agriculture’s Summer Food Service Program, which the school district is participating in for the third year in a row. Meals will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Monday through Friday at the East Syracuse Elementary School cafeteria.

“Last year we served an average of 109 kids a day, and we're hoping that it grows,” said Nancy Kerrigan, director of food services for ESM.

The village of East Syracuse’s economic status qualifies the school, located at 230 Kinne St., as an open site, meaning kids under 18 are eligible to receive a free meal simply by showing up to the cafeteria.

According to the USDA, “Open sites operate in low-income areas where at least 50 percent of children residing in the area are eligible for free and reduced-price school meals, based on local school or census data.”

Kerrigan said there is no paperwork required of those who come to the elementary school seeking a meal at lunchtime.

“Our goal is to feed people that need food,” she said.

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